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STORM-BOTS, the European training network, makes a stop at the Sant'Anna School for four days of cutting-edge training in the field of soft robotics

Publication date: 24.02.2023
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The Sant’Anna School hosts the STORM-BOTS boot-camp. STORM-BOTS (Soft and Tangible Organic Responsive Materials progressing roBOTic functionS) is a Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network which delves into the field of soft robotics and haptic interfaces by running a state-of-the-art training programme for 13 young researchers. It is a European project funded by the European Commission which brings together 187 top research institutions. The program, coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), was launched in 2021 and will finish in 2025. By covering aspects of chemistry, physics, materials science, advanced manufacturing and robotics, as well as transferable skills, it will give the researchers the opportunity to participate in pioneering research, acquiring the necessary skills for a future career in the field of liquid crystal-based responsive actuators and surfaces.

“The event will be more than a conference or a school. It is termed boot camp, meaning  a short period of intensive training. The 13 PhD student participants will take an intensive course (on computational modeling), and then try to establish a two-way interaction with more senior researchers from both Santanna and other neighboring institutions. They will show the topic of their ongoing PhD thesis, receive feedback, and then attend lectures by their senior colleagues” says Antonio De Simone, full professor at The BioRobotics Institute.
The other professors included in the program as speakers are: Arianna Menciassi (Robotic contributions for minimally invasive surgery and targeted therapy) Cesare Stefanini (Creative engineering design applied to biorobotics) and Nicola Vitiello (Robotic Exoskeletons - From Lab to Market).

The program

The STORM-BOTS boot-camp is organised by SSSA and is part of the project’s network-wide training programme. It will take place from February 27th to March 2nd, 2023, in different locations: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy), the BioRobotics Institute, and the Museo Piaggio (Pontedera, Italy).

The boot-camp agenda is structured in different parts: 

  • Days 1 and 2 are dedicated to specialized training on FEM modelling of large deformations, lectures by Prof Alessandro Lucantonio (Aarhus University, DK).
  • On day 3, in the morning session, STORM-BOTS ESRs will present the current state of their projects to the other teams of the network in a “Projects on the table” activity. 

In the afternoon, STORM-BOTS fellows and members will visit the BioRobotics Institute and the ESRs will present their projects in an open poster session (Hallway – The BioRobotics Institute, Pontedera, from 16:30 h).

  • Day 4 is dedicated to lectures by invited speakers. Experts on BioInspired and soft robotics (see programme below) will present their research to STORM-BOTS members and all participants (Auditorium of the Piaggio Museum, from 9:00 to 17:00 h).

Updated information can be found at: